Sunday, March 31, 2013

movie review--G.I. Joe: Retaliation

Fun fun fun fun fun!!

I have my doubts that this was the sequel that was intended when the first G.I Joe movie was made.

If you remember that first movie, you may remember things like the Joes having a giant underground headquarters, guys in some kind of mechanical enhancement suits crashing through busses in Paris, and Cobra having an extensive complex under an ice cap. The star power in that movie was pretty high, and the effects and CG was extensive.

A lot of that is lacking in the new movie, and, honestly, while it's not all a good thing, overall I think it helped make this movie better than the first.

True, the lack of continuity from the old one to the new is a bit off-putting. The romance that played a bit part in the first movie is not even mentioned in the second. The Joes' big underground complex is completely missing. Thankfully, so were the mech suits.

Few of the actors from the first movie are in this second one, which may also account for the continuity problems. Tatum returns as Duke, for a bit of the movie. Ray Park is Snake-Eyes again, and we all rejoice. The same actors played Storm Shadow and the President/Zartan in disguise. I suppose it also accounts for the strange leaving behind of Destro from the prison break.

This movie is definitely more small-scale. The Joes here are more like an elite special force's team, not an independent army all of their own. Cobra has gone underground, though because one of their guys is the President in disguise, they have some means of getting their big bad satellites into orbit. Then, the Joe's get pretty much wiped out, so the surviviors have to go underground and think small-scale.

While that's going on, Snake-Eyes and his new sidekick are having the movie's big CG fight--ninjas sword-fighting along a mountainside. Literally, along a mountainside. Two thumbs up for that!

Dwayne Johnson has to pretty much carry the movie, and to his credit, he does it well. His Roadblock is probably rather typical for such a character, but he comes off as a leader for the team once Duke is gone. Lady Jaye holds up her end, but Flint is pretty much a non-entity.

Among the villains, Zartan/President and Firefly seem to both be enjoying themselves. I'll give the movie special props for Cobra Commander. He's in the movie far too little, but when he is, he definitely comes off as the most threatening bad guy of all of them.

And Bruce Willis provides some good support for the good guys.

The bad guys do seem to have a good working knowledge of oldies rock music, as they use lines like "Everybody wants to rule the world" and "I want it all". Roadblock references a more modern rap artist at one point.

Overall, it's an enjoyable movie, very fun, I liked it a lot. It's not perfect, it does feel odd as a follow-up to the first movie, and one wonders where it may go from here, if it does at all. But I can recommend it.

No comments: